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4 Traits and Skills Required by Home Care Staff

Written by Jimmy Rustling

As the global population continues to age, there is an increasing demand for effective home care workers. Elderly people often want to keep their independence rather than live out their later life in a care or nursing home but may still require assistance at home to live well and safely. The aging population and an increasing need for home care for the elderly means that there is a growing need of highly trained home care staff. It is important that home care staff have a range of key skills and traits that allow them to effectively manage their elderly clients and allow them to live full and happy lives. This article explains 4 key traits and skills that are required for effective home care staff.

1. Up-to-date training

There is a need for all home care staff to receive training and education depending on the level of care that they provide to elderly residents. Home care staff will be required to undertake a range of tasks for their clients, from helping with their mobility needs to ensuring that medications are taken correctly and on time. Depending on what country the home care staff work in, there may be a need for specific training to be undertaken, such as PCA training, in order to comply with local or state requirements. This type of training can help home care staff identify the correct course of action to take in a range of circumstances and offers a mix of training and education that improves a range of hard and soft skills.

2. Empathy and Compassion

One of the most important key attributes for any home care worker is to treat their patients with empathy and compassion. Ideally, this mindset should be present in staff from the very beginning, but it is also a soft skill that can be built on over time. Elderly residents will want to feel cared for and that their views and problems are listened to properly. A care worker must be able to see things from the perspective of the elderly person and “put themselves in their shoes” to fully empathize with their situation and specific healthcare and social needs. Maintaining the dignity of elderly people is a vital outcome. Some patients may need help with their hygiene and toilet needs as well as requiring assistance when it comes to eating. These activities should be assisted with compassion and caring in a way that does not deprive them of their personal dignity.

3. Teamwork and communication

Often, teams of home care workers will be needed to treat and manage the elderly at home. This can be when they need more intensive care plans that require more than one staff member to be present at the home during the day. Clearly, it is vital that multiple home care staff communicate effectively to provide consistent levels of care throughout the day. Updating care plans that are available on the premises or in shared online locations can be a key way to achieve consistency of care. This is especially important when a resident needs to take a range of medications throughout the day. In this situation, it is vital to ensure that medications administered are documented so that the correct type and amount are taken. Occasionally care workers may be required to work together at the same time. This can be when two people are needed to move bedbound patients. Strong communication and teamwork skills ensure that effective treatments can be given and patient safety remains a priority.

4. Passion for care

It should be recognized that providing effective care for the elderly is a vocation and a privilege. Home care for the elderly is one of a range of patient-facing jobs that should be driven by an innate desire to improve the quality of life of these elderly people. Effective care for the elderly can help them maintain higher levels of personal independence and a better quality of life. Put simply, all home care staff should feel compelled to always provide the highest levels of care and attention to their elderly clients. Occasionally it can be challenging to care for patients who have complex health and social needs, but the underlying passion of care workers should be present to ensure that the best care is provided at all times.

In conclusion

Providing high-quality care for the elderly who wish to remain in their homes is a service that should be driven by passion, empathy, and compassion. Home care staff need to be well-trained to treat their patients effectively and need effective teamwork and communication skills to offer the highest quality of care.

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About the author

Jimmy Rustling

Born at an early age, Jimmy Rustling has found solace and comfort knowing that his humble actions have made this multiverse a better place for every man, woman and child ever known to exist. Dr. Jimmy Rustling has won many awards for excellence in writing including fourteen Peabody awards and a handful of Pulitzer Prizes. When Jimmies are not being Rustled the kind Dr. enjoys being an amazing husband to his beautiful, soulmate; Anastasia, a Russian mail order bride of almost 2 months. Dr. Rustling also spends 12-15 hours each day teaching their adopted 8-year-old Syrian refugee daughter how to read and write.